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St. Francis and the Blessing of the Animals

Francis of Assisi is undoubtedly one of the people’s favorite saints, and how could he not be? He is the patron saint of animals and was well known for his compassion for all living things. Such was his dedication that he gave up the comfortable life afforded to him by his father who was a wealthy merchant. He would eventually found the order of Franciscans, a group dedicated to living by his example.

Though the traditional feast day for Saint Francis is in October, some Catholics celebrate the Blessing of the Animals on January 17. Catholics and non-Catholics alike gather up their pets to receive a blessing from a priest. Holy water is usually sprinkled on them while a brief recitation is given; this celebration is of course typically done outside and draws in a crowd. To some, this may seem a bit odd, but we see no reason to restrict the offering of blessings to just humans. Animals can be loyal companions and important fixtures in our lives. Christians often bless things like days and meals, so surely it is no stretch to bless a pet.

With his compassion for the poor and his care for animals, Saint Francis was truly at peace with his surroundings and himself. This is an attitude that we recommend for all who have chosen to get ordained with the Universal Life Church, and indeed, for people in general. We should all strive to be so known for offering love and help to all creatures big and small.


  1. Chase says:

    It seems to me that substantially all of the high-profile mass shtooings in the past few months have gone down in either gun-free zones or in jurisdictions which do not routinely allow private citizens to carry concealed weapons. On the opposite side of the scale, despite having a ready supply of guns, drugs, and other high value targets I cannot recall even a single case in recent memory where armed criminals robbed a police station.Taken together, these two facts send a pretty clear message to me.

  2. Manning says:

    It’s wonderful to see the isiittutnon of marriage as still having value for many folks. There appears to be an attack on the clean wholesomeness of just what marriage and family is today. Over here in Sweden they have a word/term called Sambo . We always just called it Shacking Up in the old days. It’s a reference for couples who reject the isiittutnon of marriage and chose to live together and possibly have children in this arrangement(very very common here) . It often doesn’t last and it’s the children who suffer, but nevertheless this culture believes it’s the more modern enlightened version of all that is Secular and that should be replicated around the world. Sadly, there use to be a statistical quote saying that the average Swedish family had 3.2 children per family. Now the saying is joked about in that they say now there are 3.2 parents for every child. Many Swedish children have multiple parents and partner mates and if they break up, those Ex-Sambo partners sue for the right to visit the child. This could almost fit into a PART TWO of Folks, This Ain’t Normal Congradulations and I hope things continue to go well with you two.

  3. Svetlana says:

    Time will tell and history will judge whe wisodm of Archbishop Lefebvre. Already we have been told that the Mass of the Ages was NEVER ABROGATED! Which was the lone voice crying in the wilderness for the Mass of the Ages since 1970? Who would have admitted the outrageous truth that the Rite that was suppressed with force and fury by Bishops and Priests across the globe was NEVER ABROGATED?Kudos to Benedict XVI for all he has done but it will be just window dressing unless he can reform a Church that is being ripped apart by the heresy and disobedience of modernists. Where will the Mass of the Ages be in a Church where virtually nobody can remember the Faith or a time when the Faith was a living breathing reality in every Parish and every Catholic Grade School?This is the critical moment. I do thank God that he gave us a Pope who has an understanding of the problems. That dont mean that the solutions are being applied.

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